Weekly Wrap. Week 10.
I just had to start this week with such picture, because I realized how behind I have got with my posts – we are already at week 13! Therefore I want to try to limit the losses and you might be looking into 2-3 posts in upcoming week. I do hope you see it as good news – that means more details, more information and some interesting stuff to read about.
How was your time throughout those weeks? Mine turned out much more busy than I have expected or even imagined, which took its toll on the blog. Luckily, it was not one of those creativity pits, that I tend to fall into or lack of information to share, it was simply lack of time and myriad of other commitments, which were on top of the priority list. Good news is, I think those are settling in and I have not missed a single training session during this waterfall of business and I am excited to share the details of these weeks with you. Weeks have been quite tough and challenging, but I guess that is normal, when I consider how close the “racing season” is already – first race is already scheduled in a month in Lithuania! On top of that, I have so much to share from my training camp. I think I have to stop now with the promises and continue with delivering.
Week 10 was my week of the camp. As my coach has said beforehand – during it we would complete bigger amounts of training that we were used to and he was spot on. Remember how I was telling you that I might squeeze in an additional session here and there in the gaps our training itinerary had? That was optimistic at best! During the training camp, I barely had the time to digest the food from breakfast, which we usually had after the morning swim and get myself ready for the long ride of the day. And on those rides, the joy of plastic food happens – where you have to fuel yourself with gels, isotonic drinks and other sweets. At first it sounds fun and exciting – I will be eating sweets all day, but at the end of 4+ hour ride all I want is something chewable and sour.
During our bike rides, Lanzarote was showing its brutality, smashing us with the winds from every possible direction, presenting hill after hill and vaporizing all the water reserves we had in our bottles and in ourselves within half an hour. Despite its difficulties, the week built me up mentally, physically and enthusiastically. I was content with my achievements, when I was leaving, happy and greatful for the ability to experience all this as well. Please join me in my 2 part blog post about camp, our training sessions and the events from that week.
New relationships. Saturday 03.03.
First day of the camp greets me with an e-mail from my coach and partially on behalf of my future colleagues – they are all affected by the snowstorm, that impacted my wife’s travel the day before. It seems that coach and good bunch of athletes will be coming only on Tuesday, while others might be coming late today. In all honesty, that is not how I envisioned start of the camp. Despite all that, my coach has sent the most impressive and structured e-mail, which showed me how does a good composure look like during a tough situation. In short, that e-mail was a guiding e-mail for what has to be / can be done during the days, that the coach is not here, when the coach plans to arrive and further necessary steps to accomodate the ones who have arrived. It was impressive, because my way of dealing with such thing would be to feel very personally accountable for the problem that occured and to “break a neak” without necessity, while trying to fix it.
Weather in Lanzarote is beautiful. It is not too hot, it is moderately windy with perfect humidity to enjoy the surroundings. I arrive at Sands Beach Resort, where we have our rooms booked. The first thing I notice is the amount of athletes around me. It feels like I have come to an triathlon race, not a resort of any kind. I can not stop twitching my head to either side during the sighting of other athletes every second. I already start to feel empowered. Our rooms are located next to the pool. I eagerly pass areas aimed at leisure activities with smaller pools and sunbathing people and soon enough get to the area with the swimming pool we will work out at. What a view! I quickly jump into the small “apartment”, which I will be sharing with another colleague once he arrives. It looks cozy, simple and there is everything I might need from it. I quickly get some coffee done and admire the view, while getting ready for my evening run.
Evening run was a set of 6 intervals at threshold pace (threshold pace – pace, which is above your comfortable, but below your “all out” effort). And just as I came out of the house and started easily jogging outside of the resort area – I was taken away by everything that this island has to offer. It was extremely pleasant to run with bare minimum of clothes needed – just shorts, tank top, bandanna and running shoes. In comparison, I have 2 layers of socks, 2 layers of leggings, 4-5 leggings of upper wear, when I am running back home. Therefore this run felt liberating. I did some loops around the area of the resort, pushed my intervals with an effort filled in with motivation and finished the session with a quick jog by the coastline and into my temporary home.
Shortly after I come back from running, I receive an e-mail from our coach, who confirms he should be able to arrive on Sunday evening and that my colleague will be arriving later tonight. Afterwards, I receive a phone call from the company I rented my bike at. With excitement I run outside to pick it up. This marks the start for our “dysfunctional relationship” between myself and the bike. To be much more clear – between my but and the saddle of the bike. As in most of such relationships – we came to hate each other by the end of the week together and will never speak again.
After all major things are completed, I decide to do some stretching and yoga, while I watch others swim in the pool. I am blown away by how fast people are here and I really get that sense and feeling, which makes me want to become better, improve. Simply from being by the side of the pool and seeing other people work. Evening goes by very fast, I try to wait for my colleague to arrive, but clock suggests that I should go to the buffet before it closes. It does not seem we will be able to go for a dinner together today. Nevertheless, I go by myself and am blown away for the last time today by the food to chose from at the buffet. Everything is there! Even vegetarian dishes – they have so many of them that there is an actual choice for it! I was used to seeing one dish in the vegetarian menu, so this was beyond happiness. This trip to the buffet, marks the start of my relationship with the dinners in this camp – there was not a single dinner that I have eaten or at least attempted to eat more than I should have. No regrets. 10/10 I would repeat the same. As I leave the buffet and come back to the apartment, I am greeted with the warm tranquility of the pool at night.
When I approach the apartment, I see a person coming out of it. Quick calculation of the houses – it must be my roommate. However, his math is much quicker than mine and from good distance he calls me out by my name. At this time, I am not yet surprised by his capability to just guess who is the person he is talking to and be correct about it. His name is Finbarr Collins, after bit of small talk, I suggest he goes to the buffet and we can have a chat later. Once he comes back, we briefly introduce ourselves and share our achievements, career aspirations and past triumphs. It is his 7th year in triathlon, mine is 5th. Our both stronger field is running and we had similar mishaps during last years full Ironmans – we both had some troubles with the bike and blew up on the run, despite putting so much on the run part of the triathlon. We become roommates, have a good chat and agree at the breakfast timing for tomorrow morning. This marks my last relationship of the day with a very pleasant Irish person, who lives in Germany. I will end this part of the story here and continue it in next blog post, hopefully later this week!
Song of the week: Noema-Noesis – Bright Ride
Reading: Oliver Bowden – Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance
Game: Deadpool (PS4) / Starcraft 2 (PC)
Average Weight: 77.4 kg
During the vacation, I have completed Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” and it was one of the books, which had a tremendous impact on me. It would be difficult to conlude the impact just in few words or sentences even, but to put some context into it – this book helped me to create a surrounding platform of mindfulness around myself, which allows me to improve, be happier and be content about the situations I am in. Both depressing and empowering, this book can be a bit “too spiritual” at some of its chapters, however not everything has to be taken to 100%. I approached this book with the following thought – a person can learn from anything and everything, it just depends if he wants to. And I chose to learn from parts of that book and not getting overwhelmed by other parts of it. This resulted in a great experience and change that I want to nurture in myself for the best.
I have finished Stephen Hawking’s book as well. I picked it back up after the vacation, right on the second day of coming back. Unfortunately, the day after I have learnt that he passed away. Not the coincidence I would hope for. This book gave me a new view on the surroundings and curiosity has been revitalized for a lot of things in my life thanks to it. It was the most difficult read, from the time I had to read Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” and I will honestly admit that there were a lot of parts I could not comprehend. But in general, I am happy I tackled that book, as I still came out a bit more knowledgeable after it, than I was before.
Hope you enjoyed it and see you soon!